"Bringing these groups together is beyond irresponsible; it is essentially conducting a hate summit at the White House," the Southern Poverty Law Center proclaimed Monday morning regarding President Donald J. Trump's social media summit last Thursday.
Based off that line, you would think the president hosted KKK leader David Duke in the Rose Garden for a Sunday interview as if his opinions mattered. No, actually, that was CNN who did that in 2016, but President Trump did something far worse in the eyes of the Left -- he invited citizen journalists, bloggers, and humorous people who make memes to the White House. In doing so, the president sent a loud message to America that internet pioneer Matt Drudge's vision of the world has been all but finalized thanks to social media and the power of the internet. This has legacy media, and their allies like SPLC, terrified that they are losing their power over public discourse.
In 1998, Drudge gave a speech before the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. in which he mapped out a future. He dreamed of a national press free of editors and beholden not to corporate masters but driven by the ever industrial spirit of the American citizen reporter.
Back then, after taking the lead on the explosive Monica Lewinsky scandal, Drudge told the Press Club that "...clearly there is a hunger for unedited information, absent corporate considerations."
But despite that hunger, the beast of the internet was misunderstood by those who considered themselves "experts." But Drudge, operating out of his Hollywood bedroom, knew that the world had "entered an era vibrating with the din of small voices. Every citizen can be a reporter, can take on the powers that be."
As he explained that night that with each technological advance that causes disruption, what separated the internet apart from even talk radio was the "the two-way communication."
"The Net gives as much voice to a 13-year-old computer geek like me as to a CEO or speaker of the House. We all become equal," Drudge said. "And you would be amazed what the ordinary guy knows," he added for good measure.
In short, Drudge accurately predicted that the Internet would not kill media, but would make consuming news more popular than ever. The world wide web would make it easy for the average person to become a reporter. It would, however, change where and how Americans consumed their information.
Now, with the internet in full swing, it seems that Drudge's prediction is a reality. Folks like Project Veritas' James O'Keefe, Live Actions News' Lila Rose, and even what should be accurately described as a modern-day political cartoonist -- aka the meme-lord Carpe Donktum -- constantly drive national discourse. All of these people are equipped with their iPhone, their ideas, and some fairly basic computer skills. As President Trump said about O'Keefe, "He is not controversial, he just tells the truth."
But, the rulers of legacy media think that they have a monopoly on truth. They believe they should decide who is a journalist and who is not. Citizen journalists are disdained by the legacy media from places like CNN, NBC, and MSNBC. Thus, the legacy media's response to the summit has been one of smears and ugly insults, even potentially dangerous doxxing. This is because the legacy media now understands that their influence over the American people is all but dead thanks to the internet. President Donald J. Trump's election, to colloquially put it, whacked the mainstream media upside the head. Now, they are taking vengeance on anybody who supports him.
Don't believe me? Take a look at what they are doing to Carpe Donktum. He is a more or less anonymous private citizen. Unlike O'Keefe and Rose who report what is really going on in leftwing organizations and in the government, all Carpe Donktum does is make funny videos and pictures. But, now, Buzzfeed News may do a full expose and place his family in danger.
This isn’t isolated. Remember the handling of drunk Pelosi and CNN wrestling memes?— Steven Crowder (@scrowder) July 15, 2019
Mainstream media are LIVID they don’t have a stranglehold on information & influence.
Now they smear, silence & dox ANY private citizens who have online influence. Shameful. https://t.co/iGYjqV53Og
As Crowder said in a follow-up tweet, "MSM’s message is pretty clear: 'You’re thinking about making a pro-Trump meme? Think twice. Because CNN, DailyBeast, and Buzzfeed may plaster your face all over national media alongside descriptions like 'alt-right' etc."
These sorts of messages are nothing new. Here's what the mainstream media told Drudge back in 1998:
"He's one man out of control," a caller warned on talk radio in Los Angeles. "There is such a built-in level of irresponsibility in everything he does," cried First Amendment protector Floyd Abrams in a page one Wall Street Journalpiece. "The notion of a Matt Drudge cyber gossip sitting next to William Safire on Meet the Press would have been unthinkable," smacked Watergate's Carl Bernstein in an op-ed.
Now, there are hundreds of thousands of people just like Drudge who want to report the news. To be clear, there are certain growing pains with this development -- fake viral news for instance. Some of the folks invited to the social media summit have actually promoted lies and falsehoods, but then again so have the traditional White House outlets represented by legacy media. Even in this case, internet transparency has increased the ability of the populace to call out viral fake news rather than depending on the mainstream media to admit their mistakes. Whatever the case and whatever the future holds, the legacy media is sending a clear message in order to cling to power-- if you partake in Drudge's dream, we will make your life a nightmare.